Chiefs back home to face shorthanded Vees

Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column during the BCHL season, talking Chilliwack Chiefs and goings on in the junior A circuit.

It was nice to see the Chiefs return to home ice last night. It had been 25 days and seven games since their last home game. After visiting Coquitlam Friday, the Chiefs are home again Saturday when they host the defending national champion Penticton Vees in a rematch of last year’s first round playoff matchup.

The Chiefs will be without defenseman Cooper Rush and forward Austin Plevy this weekend. Both were selected to play for Team Canada West in the CJHL Prospects mini-series as part of the World Junior A Challenge being held in Yartmouth, Nova Scotia.

More than half the teams in the BCHL are without top players due to these events. No team has more players away than the Vees, who have five in Nova Scotia.

But as Chiefs coach Harvey Smyl will tell you, it’s not about the players who are not playing. It’s about the players that are.

I expect a great game Saturday as the teams meet for the final time this season.

Looking a little further ahead, on Nov. 17 the Chiefs will welcome members of the Canadian women’s national soccer team that won bronze at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

Erin McLeod, Melissa Tancredi, Brittany Timko and Emily Zurrer will be on hand for BMO’s Community Sports Night.

They will drop the puck for the ceremonial faceoff and sign autographs during the first intermission.

Hats off to Chiefs staff member Andrea Laycock for making this happen.

I’ll admit I don’t watch much soccer. but I did have their semi-final game versus the United States on, intending to have it in the background while I got some work done. It didn’t take long for me to vacate my desk and plant myself in front of the TV to watch what turned out to be an incredible game. The Canadian girls lost a heartbreaker 4-3 and were victim of some horrible officiating.

Back to hockey and a few random comments on the Chiefs.

Prior to their recent stretch of seven straight road games, the Chiefs had never played more than five consecutive games away from home.

Going in to last night’s game versus Langley, the Chiefs had the BCHL’s top goal scorer (Josh Hansen with 15) and playmaker (Luke Esposito with 20 assists).

A reminder that the Chiefs are organizing a fan bus for the game in Merritt on Friday, Nov. 23. The price is set at $35 per person which includes your game ticket and pre and post game snacks on the bus.

Call the Chiefs office at 604-392-4433 or visit customer service during a Chiefs game to sign up.

The BCHL’s Movember campaign is currently raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Several Chiefs players are growing mustaches to show their support. The list includes Shay Laurent and Spencer Graboski.

Keep an eye of the Chiefs website and Facebook page for weekly updates on how they are doing. Links to the links donation page can be found there as well.

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